The Frankfurt Motor Show is coming in September, and there is already buzz building about the Hyundai i10.
Auto Express recently got to take a spin in a disguised prototype, and here is what they thought.
Stefan May, head of Total Vehicle Test & Development for Hyundai took the test drivers to a remote location in northern Sweden to conduct the test.
The location was where the i10 was being put through its arctic test run paces.
The test began with a few laps of the frozen track, with may talking about how the new model is taking shape.
Hidden beneath the camouflade is a body that is designed on the same platform as the Kia Picanto, which means that the next-generation i10 sits a little lower than previous models, and also has a longer wheelbase.
Those changes result in a lower center of gravity and improved handling. Stefan demonstrated that by adjusting the throttle to allow the back end to move around on the ice and snow.
Stefan claims that the main rival for the i10 is the up!, but believes that Hyundai has a vehicle that is more fun.
He points to the ESP system and 1.25-liter Kappa engine which combine to deliver a smooth, comfortable ride.
The Auto Express folks were then allowed behind the wheel, with their first observation being that the interior was definitely more upscale than before.
While large portions were covered, there was still enough on display for that to be evident.
The first signs of the upmarket changes were the heated steering wheel and the keyless starter button. Once the vehicle was running, the quiet engine made it difficult to tell if t was even running at all.
Pushing the throttle further delivered even better response, giving the i10 a light, nimble feel. It’s a smooth ride that should have competitors a little worried.
This is the lowest i10 ever, yet there is still an impressive amount of interior space, with ample head and legroom. The extra width also helps, with the i10 fitting all 4 of the adult test drivers comfortably.
The drivers left the test tracks and took the car out onto a quiet Swedish road, where the i10 also performed well. The disc brakes delivered when called upon and the suspension easily took care of every single bump in the road.
Once the test drive was over, Stefan spoke about how he thought the i10 would fare against the competition.
He said that the original plan was to target Toyota, but that the idea is now to deliver cars that are more European inspired.
As if to back up that theory, Hyundai will be taking production away from Korea and out to a new plant in Turkey.
There are still a few little tweaks ahead for the i10, but the ESP and heating systems will remain the same as those in the test car. [Autoexpress]